Tourney questions and concerns

Posted by: D Money

Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:01 PM

So I am all set to bowl in my first real tournament this weekend. It's an ABT tourney that happens to be in my local house. I do have some questions and concerns though that I am hoping you guys can help me with before then. Ok, so I know they are bowling on a sport pattern. I have never bowled on that before. What differences should I expect with that pattern? What kind of line is usually most effective? Also, typically what is the format of these things? Is it just six games and then you take the + or - over or under 200 and they use that to seed you? Then it goes to some sort of match play assuming you qualified? And in match play, is it one game or a 4 out of 7 series like the pros? Oh, and I know they have like 5 different squad times. Does that mean you can just show up for any of those and if you qualify you come back later or the next day? Finally, I know that you eventually need shirt with your name on the back. Do they allow you to use just your last name? I apologize if any of this has already been covered but I looked through the other posts and didn't see anything specific. Also, if there is any other info that I may have left out that you would like to include, please feel free to do so. Thanks.
Posted by: Brandon510

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:26 PM

Sport Patterns is much more challenging and difficult then your typical Hosue Shot. Look at PBA Experience Leagues thread they talk about sports patterns and such give you some what what your be facing and also USBC Oil patterns

You May want to talk to Erin or Brian there more familar how you should play the sports pattern and format of such tournments.

When i use to bowl tournments back in junior you were assigned your squad time after they annoced who qualified. But not sure on the tournment your bowling in.
Posted by: Brian Longo

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:36 PM

I'm not too up to speed on sport patterns. I've never bowled on one myself, but, from reading other posts about it, you probably will have roll a tighter line to start with. After that, well, who knows, but it probably wouldn't be a good idea to expect a wall out there. Read your ball and make adjustments accordingly.
Posted by: Show300

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:44 PM

What ABT association are you bowling in? I'm in So. Cal. and I bowl in the ABT Orange County Branch, but I've also bowled a few Citrus Belt tournaments out in Riverside/San Bernadino County.

Anyway, most of the ABT O.C. Branch tournaments are one day, beat the board events. Basically, you show up for a squad, bowl 4 games (moving one pair to the right after each game) and try to place as high on the board as you can. You are given handicap based on your average. I think for us it's 80% of 200. Games over 200 put you on plus side, under 200 puts you on the minus side (that includes handicap). I don't think our division of ABT allows you to bowl more than two squads. As for the shot, I don't know if I'd call it a sport shot, unless they specifically say that on the advertisement for the tournament. It's usually different from house to house. In some houses, a +80 won't even get you in a cash place on the board, in others I've seen a +23 win a tournament. All depends on the shot that day in that particular house.

If there is a qualifier and semis following it's usually bowled PBA style, but only one game and the winner moves on. Then the final 5 bowl a stepladder format to determine the champion. Those are usually two day tournaments, with the squads bowled the first day and the top 10-15 seeds coming back to compete for the finals.

As far as what you can wear, usually if it's your first couple of tournaments they allow you to wear polo or bowling type shirt. After a few tournaments (at least our branch does), they require you to have a polo or shirt with your name on the back, and I think it's up to the bowler to decide if just last name or first and last. But I'm sure the ABT director can answer that question for you.

Don't think too much about the shot. It seems like you're already setting yourself up for a fall. You get 10 min of practice time, so use it wisely to figure out how the lanes are playing. In most ABT tournaments, you'll only have 4 bowlers on a pair, so the shot shouldn't change too drastically, but again it all depends on how the lanes were dressed to begin with. Just make your adjustments as necessary.

So go in there, pay your money and just bowl. There are many ways to win money in ABT, i.e. side pots, mystery pots, don't focus on just trying to win. If you do, that's great, but if it's your first tournament, then just focus on gaining some tournament experience. In my first tournament exposure (also ABT), I had to learn not to worry about the guy next to me stringing six or seven, because it was giving me too much to think about. Just go out and do the best you can.

I'm sure you'll enjoy it, and hopefully the experience will push you to advance your game so that someday you can wear an ABT Champion shirt. I still don't have one, but I don't bowl ABT as much as I used a matter of fact, one of my bowling resolutions is to win an ABT tourney this year.

Have fun and good luck...
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:47 PM

Generally speaking, you're going to want to play a sport pattern relativly straight. Swinging the ball does not pay off on a sport pattern unless it's really short and that's the only way you can keep the ball on your side of the lane.

Again, generally speaking, the more boards you cross, the more you get the ball going away from the pocket, the more a mistake will hurt you.

But, if you're a right hander, the shot may open up so that you can swing the ball. It depends on who you're bowling with, and if you're moving pairs, who's bowling on those pairs in front of you.

If you're used to standing left and sending the ball right, that will probably not work because that type of a shot relys on there being very little oil outside. Sport shots have fairly even oil across the whole lane so you don't get friction outside 10. Your friction is going to come down the lane on the back end.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 01:58 PM

There's no tellin how to play the shot if you have no experience with it. So just go in with an open mind and watch where others are playing. I've found on a lot of sport shots, they take away the 2nd arrow shot. So don't get too fixed on 2nd arrow trying to make it work. You might have to go straighter up 14 or so. Or point off the gutter at 5. Watch carefully what your ball is doing on the left side of the lane (for right handers) because you will probably have to adjust your spare system to account for more backend. So lets say you normally move 6 boards for the bucket leave. You might have to only move 4 boards. Make sure you take a practise shot at the 7 pin, you'll probably have to adjust that shot too. Opposite will go for the right side. If you normally move 6 boards for the 9 pin, you might have to move 8. So when you get to practise, if you get 4 shots,make sure you shoot at a 7 pin, a 10 pin, and a couple strike shots. If you have time, shoot for the 2,8 area.

The biggest difference in the Sport shot is that the outsides are not dry like you are used to. So if you miss right, its going to stay out there, might even slide into the gutter if you are used to a big swing shot. When and if you start seeing your ball overreacting, on a house shot you go inside to find more oil. But on a Sport shot, you can find oil on the outside. So you might find yourself making opposite moves by going right when your ball starts over reacting. Your execution errors will be magnified, along with everyone elses' too. Just get to the pocket and don't worry too much about carry. Stay out of trouble/splitting and do your best on shooting spares.

Good luck,

Posted by: D Money

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 02:18 PM

Thanks for your replies so far guys. Pretty helpful. Show300, it's the Bay Area ABT. www bay.abtbowling dot com. All of your ideas were helpful. I know that I will have to read my ball reaction and adjust accordingly, that is a given. But it does look like I will have to at least start out with a little more straight of a line than I am used to.
Posted by: SoCal Jeff

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 02:26 PM

Not experienced with spaort condition bowling (would like to be) so all I have is - best of luck and have fun.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 02:34 PM

Yes, good luck, and make sure you let everyone here know how you made out. I think people who haven't bowled on a sport shot will get a lot out of hearing what you think..
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 03:00 PM

The Bay Area ABT has a notorious reputation for putting out a tough shot. Everyone will be in the same boat though. So good luck

Posted by: Show300

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/10/07 03:28 PM

They used to have a sport bowling tournament on Thursday nights at one of the houses in my area. It lasted for about 6 months, but then participation dwindled. I guess people just didn't like struggling. I bowled it several times and always felt I fared pretty well. My high game was a 234, which actually won me a pot one night, and a low of 147. On our sport shot, the backends were terribly dry. It was always a matter of getting your ball through the oil on the front and hitting the right target so that when it hit the backend that it didn't roll up and go through the nose.

But if you overthrew the shot, it would skid through the oil and not recover at all. If you didn't have good mechanics and couldn't target, you'd just be frustrated for 4 games.

I liked the challenge and like Erin noted everyone is bowling on the same conditions, so the field was pretty even. No one was ever able to master it or become too proficient on it. Some games you had it and some you didn't.

That was also over 4 years ago for me, and at the time I had only been bowling about 2 years at best. So knowing what I know now, I'm sure I could fare even better.
Posted by: D Money

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/17/07 03:07 PM


Ok so I went in to this tournament with confidence and high hopes. "How different could a sport pattern be?" I thought to myself. After 5 minutes of practice I was still confused as ever. I thought that if I could just find the right line that I would be ok. How difficult could that be? Turns out, WAY more difficult than I thought. I spent three games trying to find a line. I tried inside, the ball never came back. I tried throwing straight up 5 and 10, either didn't come back or went through the nose. The weirdest thing was that if I threw up 7, it wouldn't make it back to the pocket. If I threw up 8, it went brooklyn.

Long story short, 5 splits the first game and a whopping 485 series later, I am pretty sure I finished dead last. I was completely lost. I talked to another guy on my lanes about how I just can't find a consistant line, and he said thats the thing, there is no consistent line. Add in the fact that I had to come in using my current league average of 206, that gave me all of 6 pins a game of handicap. When I left, the leader was at +68, with a 668 series. That means I would have had to shoot a 650 scratch just to match that. Not that that is too tall of an order, but on this day it was.

To sum up, I can't really tell you how much different the Sport Pattern is because I still have not figured it out. It is kind of deterring though to go in there and bowl that bad. Especially when I looked at the other bowlers and 90% of them were not that good IMHO. Just frustrating. I don't know if I will bowl another tournament. Part of me wants to go back and try to figure it out, the other part want to just say screw it and save my money.
Posted by: Show300

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/17/07 03:49 PM

Those are the ups and downs of bowling, DMoney. Some days you're on it and some days...well, you're just not. But deciding that you're not going to spend a little money to compete in any more tournaments is not the way to go. Trust me, I've spent $50 on entry fee, $100 on brackets and sidepots and left with a $150 lesson in bowling. It's just the nature of the game.

Practice working on shot repetition...that's the best thing you can do on a sport shot...if you can find a way to get to the pocket, then try to do it consistently. For me, ironically, shooting the corner pins is the way I work on a consistent arm swing. I know that I have to go straight across the lane at it with my spare ball. Then when I'm on a difficult shot, I just focus on mechanics and hope that it will tell me where to play the lanes. But it happens to even the best...bad days are just that, bad days and nothing more. It's not the end of the universe and the world will still be spinning on its axis when you wake up in the morning, God willing.

Last night, I had one of 'those' nights in my lane was hooking, on the other just skidding out. After games of 189, 161(ugh!!!), one of the guys on another team who I talk to alot to asked me to consider moving further inside. It's not my most comfortable playing area. I like being able to go between 9-13 and out to about 4 back to the pocket. I pride myself on being somewhat versatile, but I do have a comfortable zone where I'm almost untouchable.

'What do you have to lose?' he said. Nothing I figured, so I moved 12 boards right from 21 to 33 and didn't my ball get outside of 13 board the last game. Result...267, front 6, left a 7 pin and back 5...crazy. Read that again...a 12 board move in one game, just to get my ball to react on the left lane. And I was throwing 2 different balls in the last game. And I hate doing that.

It happens...all you can do is practice and come back the next night or tournament or whatever. But giving up, that's not the move...stick with it, bowl more tournaments. Trust me, the experience will help you down the road.

Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/17/07 03:55 PM

Welcome to Sport Shot Bowling. It's different isn't it? Afterwards, could you tell what the pattern was? or did you ask someone? Just curious. When I bowl tournaments, I usually ask the proprietor about the shot. Some will tell me. Others say, oh it's just a sport shot. That means, look out.

I watch the PBA every week just to see what shot they have, and to watch how the pros play it. It is also interesting to see how they adjust when the oil changes. Sometimes, one of the pro commentators will talk about a ball change or position change and why. You can really learn from this.
Posted by: Lefty

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/17/07 04:03 PM


The weirdest thing was that if I threw up 7, it wouldn't make it back to the pocket. If I threw up 8, it went brooklyn.

It sounds like you did have a line, and that line was to hit 7 and throw the ball the same way every time. Now no one is going to hit their mark every shot, but from the sounds of the scores, no one ran away with it either. Do you know what the cut was? I'm betting no more than around even. What would it have taken for you to shoot even? Pick your spares and get a double here or there?

Don't get discouraged by this. It's your first exposure to a more challenging shot and now you know what it's like. The name of the game on a condition like that is accuracy and repetition. I'm not sure how you took the feedback you got with your video, but the crux of what people offered all went to those two things. Those things will make you more accurate and make your shots more repeatable.

I can tell you from expierence that there's no better feeling than making several shots in a row, splitting the same board, throwing the ball the same way and getting a strike on a condition like that.
Posted by: D Money

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/17/07 07:26 PM

The cut on Saturday was at +35 and on Sunday it was +19 and then +66. I was at -108 with no help from handicap. The winner got 41 pins a game of handicap and shot 542 scratch. At least I will get more pins for free next time. I will probably bowl another one soon. Thank for the responses.
Posted by: Silent Mike

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/18/07 05:44 AM

I expect similar results as you D Money. I've only bowled a few no tap tournaments for fun with good results. This year I want to get experience in any and every tournament I can afford, pref. scratch tournaments but I'll take what I can get. I don't expect to do well at first but I do expect to give it my best and rely on what I know. Don't let this set back stop you from entering other tournaments, you gained some good experience which hopefully you'll put to good use next time out.
Posted by: Brandon510

Re: Tourney questions and concerns - 01/18/07 10:35 AM

D Money. Probally some good Experiance though eventhough i didnt turn out as you hope it would. I feel like bowling a tournment i have not bowled one since i was in Juniors and made my return to this sport in august and been bowling good as late. I used to love Tournement the atmosphere and stuff was so much fun. I gotta enter one later this year for the fun of it.